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New Michigan PG Jaelin Llewellyn relishes at chance of playing in NCAA Tournament

Llewellyn looks to continue a long line of successful up-transfers in the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball: Princeton at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines went back to the well this offseason by acquiring yet another point guard via the transfer portal. This time around, that comes in the form of Jaelin Llewellyn, a graduate transfer point guard from Princeton.

Llewellyn recently talked with Brian Boesch of the Defend the Block podcast recently about his experiences so far in Ann Arbor, and he provided a glowing review of the program.

“It’s been a historically great program,” said Llewellyn. “They’re used to winning basketball games and I want to get to the tournament as bad as anybody and this is a team that has experience being there. They need experience at the guard position as well. It definitely helps that Ann Arbor is only about four and a half hours from my hometown so my parents and friends and family can come by and watch some more games.”

Llewlleyn hails from Mississauga, Ontario. If that name sounds familiar, it should, as Mississauga is the home of Nik Stauskas and Caleb Houstan. The Toronto suburb has been very, very friendly to the Michigan basketball program.

This past season, Llewlleyn’s Princeton Tigers won the Ivy League regular season championship before being upset in the conference tournament championship by Yale, 66-64. Winning the conference tournament is all that matters in a small conference like the Ivy League, so Llewellyn missed out on the NCAA Tournament.

“It hurt so much being right there this year,” said Llewellyn. “Even with winning the conference during the regular season and then falling short in the conference tournament, it really stung. I want to be in a position where I can be right back where I was last March.”

Llewellyn will follow in the footsteps of Mike Smith (Columbia) and DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina) in transferring to U-M from small conferences. When asked about how he fits compared to those two, Llewellyn was very complimentary.

“I spent some time playing against (Mike Smith) my freshman year,” Llewellyn said. “I was able to see the type of player he was. To see the success he had at a program like this impacted my decision because I saw someone in familiar shoes to where I was going and coming here and being successful. I took some time to reach out to him as well and he had nothing but good things to say.”

In 2021-22, Llewellyn averaged 15.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 2.5 APG while shooting 39% from three. He is bound for the starting point guard role at Michigan this upcoming season due to Jones leaving the program for the NBA and Frankie Collins transferring to Arizona State.